How to Be a Good Supervisor
The writer of Hebrews wrote, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account..." (Heb. 13:17)
Today, there are many supervisors that are not considered credible. Many people question whether their leaders are spiritually qualified to be overseers. As a result, many people believe that their supervisors do not deserve respect.
Supervision is a God given responsibility that can be done successfully through obedience to the Scriptures and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Illustration:Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, father of the nuclear submarine, was skeptical of business school graduates. Having interviewed some 14,000 of them over a period of years, he found them fluent in the jargon of systems analysis, financial manipulation, and quantitative management (whatever that is). But he claimed that they just don’t know the score. He felt most of them had an unrealistic impression of what is involved in business and little appreciation of the importance of technical knowledge, experience, and hard work. "What it takes to do the job will not be learned from management courses," said Rickover. "It is principally a matter of experience, the proper attitude, and common sense--none of which can be taught in a classroom." We are always dependent on the Lord for our source of instruction.
Bits and Pieces, July 1991.
Let us uncover what are the qualifications of a Biblically sound supervisor.
1. Spiritual supervisors should meet the qualifications of an overseer found in I Timothy 3 :1-6 which says, "An overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. He must not be a recent convert, he must have a good reputation with outsiders."
2. Godly character qualities are at the heart of a good supervisor. Even if a person knows a great deal about the Bible but it has not yet been evidenced in spiritual maturity, that person is unqualified to be a spiritual supervisor. Lead by example:
Illustration: How we learn:
1% through taste
1.5% through touch
3.5% through smell
11% through hearing
83% through sight
3. Spiritual supervisors are appointed by God. People do not get to be a spiritual supervisor by campaigning like a politician. The Lord leads qualified people into offices of leadership. (Eph. 4:11,12)
4. Spiritual supervisors are led by God to do certain ministries according to their calling. Even though a person may be spiritually fit to act as an overseer does not mean that they are necessary called to every job, church or organization. (Rom. 12:3-8)
5. Spiritual supervisors do not become leaders just to maintain the status quo. God appoints leaders to help the church or the organization and its people to grow qualitatively and quantitatively. (matt 6:33)
6. Spiritual supervisors should not advance their personal ambitions through their offices. Godly people are primarily servants ofthe Lord who are acting as God’s instruments. Individuals who try to use their spiritual authority for avarice, greed or politics are endangering themselves and others. (I tim. 6:6-8)
7. Spiritual supervisors are entrusted with the care of God’s people, possessions and responsibilities. If leaders are not trustworthy with little things they cannot be given greater resources. Godly leaders are expected to multiply the resources entrusted to their care.
8. Spiritual supervisors are called to lead, guide, teach, preach, evangelize, disciple, inspire, comfort, persuade, exhort, encourage, love, counsel, and protect their flocks. (Eph. 4:11-16)
9. Godly leaders must be willing to perform a balance of leading, teaching, shepherding and administering. Supervisors who are not balanced tend to err on the side of wrong emphasis. (Eph. 4:15)
10. Spiritual supervisors are to act as mediators, intercessors and reconcilers in times of conflict. Godly leaders should exhibit the role of arbitrators. Blessed are the peacemakers.
11. Spiritual supervisors consistently show a listening, learning and receptive attitude to new ideas. (I Thes. 2:7,8)
12. Closed-minded leaders are open ruined by their prideful stubbornness to change. (James 1:19-22)
13. Spiritual supervisors should be careful of growing complacent, apathetic or cold in their commitment to Christ, the church and to the Great Commission of our Lord. Too many leaders have started out well, but finished poorly because of their lackadaisical attitudes. (Rev. 3:7-14)
14. Spiritual supervisors need the company and encouragement of other Godly leaders to help them not feel alone against the world. Occasionally the leaders should be given times of fellowship with other supervisors to sharpen, encourage and inspire one another to greatness. (Heb. 10:24,25)
15. Spiritual supervisors should continue to look to Jesus as the author and finisher of their work. (Heb. 12:1,2)
16. Spiritual supervisors should remember that Paul the apostle endured great hardships in addition to maintaining his responsibilities as an overseer of God’s flocks. Remember the examples of great men of God whose examples should continue to inspire. Paul wrote, "As sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things." (2 cor. 6)
17. Spiritual supervisors should spend great times in personal and corporate prayer. By demonstrating a solid dependence on the Lord, leaders will be endued with God’s power, wisdom and love. Jesus said, "If you abide in me and my words abide in you. Ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you." (JOhn 15:7)
Conclusion:Tell me; I’ll forget. Show me; I may remember. But involve me and I’ll understand.